We started off the project when we came in the second class of the semester and brought in our objects to show it to the class. We swapped the objects with each other, and wrote a description of someone else’s object; what it looks like, how it feels, and what it smells like. So at the end of the class everyone had two descriptions of their object plus the description that we wrote for our object, so that we can pull keywords from all the material we got back. I got many of my keywords for the “Me” and “Us” column from my own description. I couldn’t find a lot of keywords from the descriptions I was given, so I found keywords that have the same meaning to what they were trying to describe and added them to the “You” column. For the “Them” column, I looked online for material on kid’s reaction to old VHS tapes, and found a really great video from the FineBros channel on YouTube, where a group of kids of all ages were reacting to a VHS tape. I used both their verbal descriptions and facial expressions to generate keywords. I also found it useful to look through a dictionary and thesaurus to find the right word that captures what I need for some of the keywords.
Then I started working on the next phase of the project, creating images for each keyword. I decided to try mind mapping to generate ideas. I’ve heard about mind mapping before, but never really tried using it in, so I wasn’t sure if it will work. However I found that it was very helpful to write down the words and visually see how things were connected, rather than just listing everything in bullet points like I usually do. I also wrote down in my notes on my phone any ideas I got when I was not working on the project, to make sure I don’t forget them later; like a technique to create an image, or more words that connect to the keywords I was mind mapping before. I then started organizing my list of things to make and the mediums I was using to create them. They were divided into photographs, Illustrator illustrations and hand drawings. Some of my illustrations were taken from my Magic Lantern project from last year, because it was very similar to the style of illustration I wanted to create. I also used photographs that I took before on my phone that worked well with my generated meanings from the keywords. When I started to take the photographs of the keyword representations, I wanted the focus to be on the objects themselves and not the background. So I had an idea to create an impromptu white studio backdrop by using a big white poster and taping it to a wall and let it smoothly curve to the ground, so that the objects have a plain background, and no shadows or backgrounds could interfere and change the meaning.
After we got feedback on Monday that most of our images were good, but for the next phase of creating more images for the definitions of our object, we needed a more diverse range of media to create the images with. Since most of my images were printed rather than made by hand, I decided to explore more materials to produce the images. First I went back to my written passages. Then I got my object out started to describe how it visually looks and physically feels. I then used these descriptions to mind map more ways to represent these words. It was a bit more challenging because some of the words were colors, or a description that were very exact, and I found it hard to generate a lot of words that can be linked back to them. Unlike the meanings where I listed the first things I thought of when I said that word, and what I felt when I heard it. So I joined a couple of the descriptions and used the binary opposites of the descriptions to create a variety of representations of these descriptions. As I was working on the images, I had more ideas pop up in my mind, through experimenting and mistakes I made. So for example when I was creating weaved paper, and I was just testing out how I would do it, so I used scrap paper that wasn’t cut in straight lines and I really liked the aesthetic of it, and it worked as a binary opposite for the ‘Square Grid’ description. I found that using real materials can increase your opportunity to make mistakes which can sometimes lead to good ideas.